HALLELUJAH! ART IS FREE AND I’M A FREE ARTIST. IT SOUNDS GOOD, POWERFUL, REVOLUTIONARY. Artists do as they please because art can’t be defined and artists alone can bring it to life. And artists do when they please, as long as their muse pecks their cheek, or nothing gets done. A glass of red wine also helps. Artists live off air and love, can do what they want and are celebrated. Art is the most beautiful thing in the world.
If only gallery owners didn’t exist, they who hold on to dear life to our success and slough off an artist as soon as there’s nothing left. They promote and manipulate and only want what can be turned into a profit. They elevate artists yet keep them small.
Or collectors, who instead of art could just as well frame a bond. And then the zeitgeist, which requires polished surfaces. But then, these monetary considerations all pale in comparison to the requirements of state and politics. Just think of ‘degenerate art’ in the former GDR or the cultural programmes of populist parties, who see art as a tool for their propagandas, highlighting the beauty of specific countries. Speaking of promotion: forget being independent without it. Selling your art on your own is hopeless. The free artist quickly becomes a free social case. While the general maxim of needing only air and love is good, a bit of bread wouldn’t hurt now and again.
What does the artist do? He prostitutes his art. His art should create and not be too picky. Flowers always work. Art, naturally, goes to the dogs, and only the artist survives. Yet not as an artist. In the best case scenario, as a pimp. So where is art free? No worries: there’s a place where art is free, and where they have free artists. It is so well-known that it chooses its own rules and doesn’t let anyone buy nor manipulate them. That is… fame. The question is how do you even reach this fame and its resulting independence?
Countless factors play their part but one thing is essential: a striptease, where the artist shakes off the opinion and expectation others have of him. Then follows their own fear and, ultimately, doubt doubt. Innovation, free thoughts, and authenticty create art. Only a free spirit creates free art. Easypeasy. And yet so difficult.